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30 Oct 2018

Healthy ageing key focus for fellowship recipient Dr Andy Philp

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research congratulates Dr Andy Philp who has been awarded the Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship, generously provided by The Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation.

Dr Philp, group leader of the Mitochondrial Metabolism and Ageing laboratory at the Garvan Institute, aims to harness the effects of exercise into therapies for diseases of ageing. 

Ageing is associated with a progressive decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength, a condition known as sarcopenia. Over 330,000 people in Australia currently suffer from sarcopenia, with this number predicted to exceed 780,000 by 2046. Sarcopenia leads to increased frailty, loss of mobility, an increased risk of falls and fractures, and in some cases, premature mortality. There is a clear and pressing need to develop targeted therapeutic strategies to alleviate the debilitating effects of sarcopenia.

Along with his research team, Dr Philp is working to identify signal transduction pathways that are important in metabolic control of skeletal muscle, using this molecular blueprint to develop exercise, dietary, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical therapies to modulate healthspan.

For Dr Philp, the Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship provides an opportunity to extend upon his existing research program into a clinically focused direction. The Fellowship will provide $80,000 per year, for four years. With this support, Dr Philp will study the relationship between reduced mitochondrial function and the onset of sarcopenia, and test whether increasing mitochondrial function with BGP-15, a small pharmaceutical compound, can prevent the onset of sarcopenia, with the goal of finding a viable treatment strategy to combat sarcopenia, and promote healthy ageing.